You’ve had your fun
A Texan Lexus dealership has just about had it with all the electrification talk – with an advert aimed at Tesla drivers, the headline “You’ve had your fun, now it’s time for zero compromise” advertises a trade-in cash bonus of $1,000 but who’d want to exchange a Tesla for a Lexus?
Tesla considers another Gigafactory in the USA
According to Elon Musk, Tesla is currently looking for a location for another plant in the USA. The Cybertruck is to be produced there, as well as the Model Y for customers on the US East Coast. Texas is apparently a hot contender in the competition.
Feds exempt autonomous delivery pod R2 by Nuro
Founded by former Google engineers, the US start-up Nuro is to make goods delivery autonomous and electric. They now launched the next-gen pod, R2, and say they can start testing in Houston within weeks. Regulators have approved a driverless exemption for this purpose.
Tesla Gigafactory in Texas?
Tesla plans to build another Gigafactory in the USA, possibly in Texas. Elon Musk indicated his considerations with a post on Twitter and US President Donald Trump had also hinted that Musk would build another factory in the USA.
Revel launches scooter fleet in Austin
The New York startup Revel has launched in the Texan capital with a fleet of 1,000 electric scooters (as in mopeds, not kick scooters) in a vehicle-sharing scheme. Revel already has 1,000 electric scooters on New York’s streets and 400 more in Washington DC.
Electric scooters gone wild
In a wild dashcam video, we can see someone on an electric kick scooter navigating a highway in Texas. While many people have complained about the improper and dangerous use of the now almost ubiquitous rental scooters, this has got to be the dumbest.
Breaking and entering a Tesla Model 3 via app
Running out of battery while on the run can happen to the best of thieves and the longest range EVs. In this case, the thief had disabled the GPS but was tracked whenever he stopped at a Supercharger. But there is more to this case than just an online billing system.
Tesla pushing the limits of pro electric car legislation
A new bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress to remove the 200,000 unit cap on access to the 7,500 dollar tax credit. Tesla is the first carmaker likely to sell “too many” electric cars and be phased out for a year, a rule that is obviously counterproductive. There are other countries too where […]
Mars exploration via helicopter
NASA is thinking far ahead and has a project with transport potential on Mars sorted before any passengers have even reached the red planet. Whilst the Tesla Roadster is on its way through space, NASA engineers have come up with the Mars Helicopter that will accompany their rover by 2020.
Voltabox acquires Concurrent Design
Germany’s battery maker Voltabox has acquired Texas-based engineering firm Concurrent Design. The acquisition is to add development capabilities to Voltabox and to strengthen its position in the U.S. market with further buy-ins planned.
Hermes, Lyft, nuTonomy, France, Bluepoint, Texas.
Hermes kicks-off electric delivery in Hamburg: The German logistics company started to deploy six electric transporters in different neighbourhoods of Hamburg. The sextet bases on Fiat’s Ducato and has been modified by Hamburg-based Emovum. In early 2018, Hermes and cooperation partner Mercedes-Benz Vans want to extend the electrified delivery nationwide by gradually adding 1,500 electric powered Vito and Sprinter until the end of 2020.
electrive.net , newsroom.hermesworld.com (both in German)
Lyft and nuTonomy team up in order to bring “thousands” of autonomous cars on the streets. The MIT spin-off intends to start working with the cab service already next month with a pilot project in Boston. There Lyft users will be able to book autonomous Renault Zoe models for a ride.
In France too, the Zoe is to drive autonomous as car supplier Delphi plans to launch a new service together with Transdev and Renault. Kick-off is scheduled for the on-going year with two autonomous Zoe models in Normandy and a shuttle bus in Saclay close to Paris. Due to security reasons, human drivers will accompany the service initially.
London to see Bluepoint’s car hire scheme: EV charging network operator Bluepoint wants to repeat the success of Paris’ Autolib scheme and thus announced plans to expand its plug-in car hire business across London. According to the company, a trial in Hammersmith and Fulham already worked out well.
Texas rewards EV purchase again: Texas reanimates its subsidy programme for electric vehicles stopped in 2015. Thus the state contributes again 2,500 dollars to every new EV on top of the federal subsidy of 7,500 USD.
Thuringa, Philippines, Texas, BYD.
Charging Germany: 370 new charging stations, including 70 rapid-charging stops, shall be installed in Thuringia by 2020. The state-sponsored initiative is a result of the EMOTIF programme, which helped municipalities acquire 18 EV, 48 electric cars and 19 e-bike charging stations.
mdr.de (in German)
Moving Manila: E-trikes only is the aim of the capital of the Philippines. The government will take the first step and buy 10,000 electric trikes, which it will rent to drivers at a price they would usually pay for petrol. Charging is free. The new e-trikes sit seven and will replace almost half of all rickshaws in Manila.
Plug-ins for Texas: Austin wants to acquire 330 plug-in vehicles until 2020. The lease programme that would see the city buy the cars for 1 dollars after the three year term is up could start next year. Only the City Council’s approval is pending. The Texan capital’s eyes are on the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt.
BYD taxis in Singapore: The first ten electric cabs will hit Singapore this October. Taxi company Hold Dreams Together (HDT) says it is only the beginning. In 2017, the fleet shall grow to 100 electric taxis, all delivered by BYD. For some reason, fares will be higher than unusual.
Riot Technologies, Texas, EU-LIVE, BMW.
Fuel cell roadster from Poland: The Premier is indeed a first as this fuel cell sports car comes from Polish Riot Technologies. The firm is a spin-off from AGH Uni of Science and Technology and the Military Uni of Technology. The prototype shown at the Moto Show in Kraków boasts four electric drives making it an AWD with 200 kW output. Nothing has been said on production plans.
thenews.pl, polskieradio.pl (in Polish)
Five-fold more energy: Lithium-air batteries may soon last five times longer with a new catalyst developed at the University of Texas in Dallas. Called dimethylphenazine, it is a soluble-type catalysts that consists of organic materials and possesses higher stability plus increased voltage efficiency.
LEV development finals: The Open Design Contest of the EU-LIVE (Efficient Urban LIght VEhicles) project has its winners. Both, the overall winning cityFLEX and the Smart Mobility concept in third place resemble a Twizy with added modularity. Second comes the SightSeeingTaxi offering an all round view.
eu-live.eu, eu-live.eu (the winners)
BMW 2 series with i8 technology: The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer PHEV hits the road with an AWD based on technology from the hybrid i8. The eAxle was made by GKN Driveline, that now adapted it to work in more compact cars. In the Active Tourer, it powers the rear instead of the front as in the i8.
ELIPTIC, Iberdrola & BMW, Envision Solar, Texas, Hilton Head Island.
ELIPTIC stands for “Electrification of public transport in cities” and is combining research with demonstration. Under the lead of the German city of Bremen, 34 partners from all over Europe are to test the feasibility of electric mobility solutions in public transport. Electric buses as well as intermodal models combining electric car sharing and electric bikes are some of the topics to look at.
bundesverkehrsportal.de (in German), eliptic-project.eu (pdf)
Corporate i3 sharing: Spanish utility provider Iberdrola together with BMW and Alphabet is to start the countries first corporate EV sharing. About 350 Iberdrola employees in Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona, and Valencia will get access to a fleet of electric BMW i3.
Solar on a trailer: Envision Solar now introduced a new trailer to tow its portable solar charging station EV ARC into position. The trailer is designed to easily transport the off-grid stations to customers.
Texas scrapping scheme: The ‘AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program’ has been reopened for a limited time. Motorists that hand in their old car receive a voucher of up to 3,500 dollars towards the purchase of an electric or hybrid vehicle. In 2014, 652 vehicles were replaced through the programme.
EV charger included: Hilton Head Island has come up with a new requirement asking every new development to include at least one electric car charging station. The new rule applies to multifamily as well as nonresidential developments.
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Shanghai, Sri Lanka, Proterra, Texas.
Shanghai electrified: The Chinese metropolis plans to erect 1,800 charging stations by the end of the year and has another 2,400 in the pipeline for late 2015. The uptake of EVs in the city with 23 million inhabitants has doubled (from 581 in 2013) in the first half of 2014.
Sri Lanka is to build 40 charging spots next to supermarkets by August. More are to follow. The chargers will serve the Mahindra E20, which is now offered in Sri Lanka (we reported). The country hopes to quickly increase the number of EVs from currently 100.
Proterra launches 2nd generation: The company just sealed its first sale of its updated electric bus to its long-standing customer Foothill Transit in California. To acquire new sales, Proterra has went on an U.S. tour, promoting its offering to transportation officials.
greencarcongress.com (sale in California), timesunion.com, albany.twcnews.com (tour stop in Albany)
Switching pays: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is to give 7.7 million dollars to individuals, businesses, governmental organisations and schools willing to exchange their old diesel vehicles with new alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles. Grants may cover up to 80% of the purchase cost.
Texas, H2FIRST, Electric Highway, New Zealand.
Texas embracing EVs: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will pay up to 7.7 million dollars in financial incentives for electric cars. Also plug-in hybrids are eligible for the incentive of up to 2,500 dollars. Applications will be taken until June 2015.
H2 fuelling: A new project led by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories will work in support of H2USA. The ‘Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology’ (H2FIRST) project aims at facilitating the construction of more H2 fuelling station as well as improving the fuelling experience.
Half a million electric miles: British drivers travelled more than 500,000 miles on the Electric Highway over the last twelve months, says Ecotricity. The utility provider that erected the charging stations along British motorways is expecting a further increase of users in the future.
Every 5th Kiwi fond of EVs: A survey by the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, found 20% of those questioned and willing to buy a car within the next five years would choose electric. However, high prices, limited range and rare infrastructure still stand in the way of potential EV sales.
Gigafactory, Nissan Leaf, Texas, Mercedes, UQM.
Gigafactory proceedings: Apparently, Panasonic is interested in investing in Tesla’s battery factory, signing a letter of intent. Constructions of at least one of the two possible Gigafactory sites will commence as early as next month, with California being back in the game. Musk also said that the limited cell production is currently keeping Tesla from producing more Model S.
bloomberg.com (Panasonic), transportevolved.com (ground-breaking)
Future Leaf: Nissan released further details about the next Leaf, due to arrive in 2017. As it has been reported before, it might feature multi-size battery options with packs enabling 300 km of range. This will be made possible by introducing a new battery chemistry and thus improving energy density. 2017 will also see the arrival of Infiniti’s delayed electric car.
Texas EV incentive: As soon as mid-May, 2,000 buyers and lessees of EVs and plug-in hybrids in Texas might be able to apply for a 2,500-dollar rebate. Both EVs and PHEVs will receive the full amount, as long the battery capacity is at least 4 kW. In case of a lease, the contract runs for four years.
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Pictures of the C-Class plug-in hybrid emerged on Autoblog, showing the Mercedes being tested in Germany. The spy shots clearly show the position of the charging inlet, located at the rear-end bumper just like on the plug-in S-Class.
UQM for Turkey: Colorado-based UQM has signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkish Derindere Motorlu Araclar to supply drive systems to be used in an all-electric light commercial vehicle. While the vehicle is still under development, a decision has been made already in favour of UQM’s 135 kW propulsion system.
Denmark, Georgia, Texas.
Danish charging network: After utility provider E.ON bought the charging network from bankrupt Better Place in September of 2013, the company has now introduced its new charging products and tariffs. Charging starts at 99 kroner (18.30 dollars) a month and 3.25 kroner (0.60 dollars) per kilowatt-hour. The network currently has about 700 public charging points with fast-charging stations to be added along Danish motorways and strategic locations by 2015.
eon.dk (in Danish)
Tax credits for EVs will still be granted in the U.S. of Georgia – at least for another year. It looks like the proposal to cut the incentive (we reported) simply came too late to be put in place this year.
EVs in Texas: According to Navigant there are about 5,000 electric cars in oil-rich Texas. The researchers predict that this number will grow to nearly 100,000 by 2023. The full report shows the diversity when it comes to plug-in car sales in North America. No surprise: California, New York, Washington, and Florida will lead the way in PEV, says the report.
plugincars.com (Texas), navigantresearch.com (North America)
Switzerland, Zenith, Texas, California.
Public charging in Switzerland: Groupe E and Renault Suisse intensify their cooperation started in 2012. They have now opened 36 charging stations at Renault service centres to the public. The MOVE network includes 58 charging stations in twelve cantons thus making it the biggest public charging provider in Switzerland.
auto-wirtschaft.ch (in German), letemps.ch (in French)
Double pay-off: On Zenith’s salary sacrifice car schemes, drivers can get the BMW i3 for 310 pounds (517 dollars) a month. Apart from considerate savings on fuel, the company promotes its offer with low cost of ownership, claiming the i3 can cost 189 pound (315 dollars) per month less than a BMW 118d Sport over its life.
No charge to charge: Nissan’s promotion to offer free charging to Texan Leaf buyers seems to pay off. In 2013, Leaf sales increased by 500% in the area. The ‘No Charge To Charge’ offer is valid for 12 months and allows unlimited free charging at eVgo stations.
To be or not to be eligible for a white sticker remains a question for the BMW i3 REx. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) lists the i3 as qualified to wear a White Clean Air Vehicle Sticker but the range extended version is still missing. BMW said, the i3 REx qualifies for a green sticker, these are however limited and scarce with 29,000 of 40,000 for this year already assigned.